January 13, 2010

I Don't Love My Husband Anymore

A new insertion for Fragments of Fiction:
"In a world of doubt and fear
I wake at night and reach to find you near
Lost in a dream, you caught me as I fell
I want more than just a dream to tell"
Happy- Bruce Springsteen

The telephone call came from out of the blue. I can't tell you how long it had been since we had last spoken, could have been months or it might have been years. People get busy and live their lives. It is not personal, it is just life. Hell, most days I have trouble remembering my own name.

Our conversation began in the usual manner with small talk about our jobs and other little things about life. Slowly it progressed into some more serious matters sprinkled in with a couple of jokes here and there and then she hit me with the bombshell.

"I don't love my husband anymore."

For a moment I was silent, unsure of how to respond I let the words linger in the air. I said that I was sorry and asked her what she was going to do. She told me that she wasn't sure. She thought that she'd try to hang on for a few years, until her boys were older.

I said that sounded like a good idea. This time the silence was her doing. I felt an obligation to try to help so I asked her a few questions about how she got to be where she was. She told me that he wasn't a bad guy, that she had made a mistake in marrying him. I told her that I didn't want to be rude but I didn't understand why she had children with him.

So she explained that she thought that they were going through growing pains and that she always figured that they would work through them, but they never did. So here she was ten years later wondering how it was that she had come to be trapped in a life she no longer wanted to live.

When I suggested that she consider getting out sooner than later she grew agitated and told me how it was different for mothers. Mothers have different standards than men. I wasn't sure if I was being insulted but chose to remain silent.

So I asked her a few more questions and suggested that maybe it wasn't so bad. He sounded like a decent guy. She snorted and told me that I was being a man. I asked her what that meant.

"You don't understand what it is like to be intimate with him. I feel like I am being violated. I hate kissing him, it makes my skin crawl."

I was more than a little surprised by her candor and told her that I didn't understand how she could equate intimacy and kissing. She snorted again and told me that I was a man and that I probably wouldn't understand. I agreed with her, I didn't quite understand how it was easier to have sex than to kiss him.

In an exasperated voice she told me that men could just stick it in anywhere and that most of us saw kissing as a means to an end which was why I didn't understand.

She probably wouldn't have liked the way I rolled my eyes, but she couldn't see that. I told her that they would take my man card away for suggesting that she not be intimate with him and she laughed again. It wasn't a happy laugh.

He wouldn't put up with that.He didn't demand it constantly, but he was a man and if she didn't work to meet his needs he might try divorcing her. I told her that was the most backwards thing I had heard in a long time and received another long sigh.

"Mothers are held to a different standard than fathers. And I would feel such guilt if my children were hurt by me doing this. They love their father."

There was more silence and then the conversation resumed, but it was different.The moment of sharing was gone and I knew better than to bring it back up again. We said our goodbyes and hung up the phone. As I sat there cooking my dinner I thought about what she had said, echoes of "I don't love my husband anymore" playing through my mind.


Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities said...

Interesting and sad post. I have seen and heard about so many people who stay in unhappy, very unhappy, marriages because they feel like they must for their kids. And I am left wondering whether it is better for the kids to absorb currents of negativity and malaise and see their parents in distress or experience the ordeal of divorce. I don't pretend to know about these things, but I think these are important, if impossible, questions.

Jack said...

It is a hard question to answer. This post is fiction so I suppose the good news is that it is not "real." However it is reminiscent of past talks so...

bernthis said...

I felt the same way about my ex but I refused to stay in a horrible marriage b/c in my book, kids aren't dumb. They sense the tension and frankly, staying together, in my view, for the kids, is exactly the reason to leave. I agree 100% with Aiden.

Jack said...

I felt the same way about my ex but I refused to stay in a horrible marriage b/c in my book, kids aren't dumb.

That makes sense to me. I am not an advocate of staying married solely for the kids.

Aami said...

this post is exact what i told my friend. married for 12 years. he is a good guy, very professional, but i dont luv him. staying together so i wont make him or kids sad. one month back, i took courage to tell him and now he is not ready to accept that i can leave... we got two kids and an indian muslim but i'm so distracted that I cannot even focus on them? donno how I will move forward, which way, we both work in same place.family pressure on putting all guilty feeling on me...

Staci said...

The posts here illustrate why there are so many problems with single parents, lack of parental guidance, etc.
It is way too easy for outsiders to the marriage to just say, "You should leave"....have you ever seen the statistics for second marriage divorce rates? A person like this woman will fall out of love in EVERY marriage she is in. She is actually saying she married a "good guy", but no longer wants a "good guy". So what does she want? This question is easy: She wants that initial, new relationship rush, at any cost.

Jack said...

This question is easy

Only if you are judgmental and willing to leap to conclusions.

The Absence of Alternatives said...

I was not the one reading and rereading it. But I followed the tweet and read it. It is sad. And for privacy reason I cannot comment it. Suffice to say it is sad, and you told a good story.

Jack said...


I hear you.

Anonymous said...

My situation is the same. I came across this post while searching similar stories on internet. "I don't love my husband." I have been married for 4 years and have a 2yr old. We have lot of differences. He changed after marriage, he is completely a different person now. He always likes to be in control and wants things to go his way. I will leave him in another 3 years after I become financially sound.

Anonymous said...

Funny....this story is fiction but it is my real life story. After being married to my husband for 17 years, I am no longer in love (havent been for many years) with him and am not attracted to him either. The part where she states she does not like having sex or kissing during sex hit home with me. This is my life as I know it right now. We have tried things to make our marraige work, to no avail and now we are on the marraige councelor track which for me will be the final attempt. He does not want us to split but I just feel so far gone that I dont know how a councelor is going to "make" me fall back in love with my husband but I do owe it to him and my kids to try.

Anonymous said...

Believe me u cn never leave him.if nt now thn never

Anonymous said...

I just hate my husband he's a drunk a con artist a liar and a mama's boy Hes 53 yrs old and every x we have a disagreement he calls his meddling bitch of a mother who tells him it's ok to be a drunk sob Shes 80 yrs old and if the old bitch would just die like any other decent old person would.do My marriage might have a chance But the Vampire Bitch just won't die I'm so ducking over his abuse of Me and using me the last six yrs we've been married I was married before to a wonderful man He died of cancer after 17yrs.of marriage and we had a great marriage I guess I'm paying for having a great life with my deceased husband with this piece of shit mama's boy I'm stuck with now I gave up on him Hes such a dumb ass mother fucker